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There is a new Open Source poker bot called PokerPirate. I am interested in any creative ways in which a web application could detect/thwart/defeat a poker bot. (This is a purely academic discussion, in the same spirit that PokerPirate was written).

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The bots which we find at the tables in the poker game are known as “profile bots”. Their work is to keep a profile on what opponents are doing. They use some sort of HUD(consists of header buttons, function tabs, bot status buttons, bot movement control panel).

Some bots are simple by design if you could catch their playing style and see how they act in the same situations (note this is only possible with bots playing very basic strategy) you could discover their strategies quickly.

Some steps for defeating a bot :

  1. Gain as much data as possible using software like PokerTracker.

  2. Try to understand the playing style of the bot.

  3. Attempt to find relationships between the bet size of the bot players and its hand strength.

  4. Try to calculate its hand ranges. A simple programmed bot probably won’t be bluffing frequently so building highly accurate hand ranges for it shouldn't be too difficult.

  5. Attempt to find leaks(an area in a poker game that consistently leaves money on the table) in its game with the help of data analysis, trial, and error. Once leaks/patterns have been found, try to get benefit from it and avoid any other situations.

It is not that all bots are exploitable and that the above method will work on all bots. But if we can analyze how the bot “thinks” and what type of poker strategy it's using we can attempt to break that strategy.

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